Beardtongue, Beard Tongue, Penstemon
Penstemon x mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple'

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: x mexicali (meks-ih-KAL-ee) (Info)
Cultivar: Pike's Peak Purple

Category:

Perennials

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Purple

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Evergreen

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Flagstaff, Arizona

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Kiowa, Colorado

Fishers, Indiana

Hebron, Kentucky

Norton, Massachusetts

Winchester, Massachusetts

Pinconning, Michigan

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Greene, New York

Chiloquin, Oregon

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Knoxville, Tennessee

Harper, Texas

Riverton, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Vernal, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On May 20, 2013, CrowMeris from Greene, NY wrote:

Great, reliable, drought-resistant once established, virtually care-free. I've never had a penstemon I didn't like, and this one is no exception.

Mine's planted in moderately-rich soil where it gets sunshine nearly all day, fed in early spring with Plant-tone and a bit of compost - this is the time to press them back into the soil if they've been heaved up from the ground during winter freezing/thawing cycles.

I'll give them a deep soaking if we've had a prolonged dry spell, but otherwise I neglect them, and they do just fine.

Positive

On Sep 30, 2009, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very reliable. Delicate yellowy-green foliage. Begins blooming in May, slows in summer. With cooler temps in autumn it is again covered in fresh leaves and flowers.

The color is a grape-purple. The flowers are "tubular" like all penstemon, but short and robust like a foxglove.

It's planted in rich soil in full sun with normal waterings and never needed any special care. It doesn't seem to mind heat with humidity, unlike other penstemon I've tried (and failed) to grow.

UPDATE: Somehow I became disenchanted with the color of this plant and I pulled it out. The following year it was back as nice as before, from some roots that remained. I'm glad I failed to remove it, because it's so reliable and looks great with some new neighbors I added in th... read more

Positive

On Nov 21, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Beautiful! Love it!

Positive

On Jul 16, 2006, txsdar from Harper, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Grows very well 20 miles west of Fredericksberg, TX
Deer do not seem to like it yet!!!! First year so no update on it coming up by itself yet. Will update next spring. Txsdar

Neutral

On Dec 31, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plant in a full sun location with well drained soil. It can tolerate drought conditions. Great for zones 5 - 8. Small purple flowers bloom all summer long. The plant, with flowers, can reach a height of 15". Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, too. A fast grower.